KNOX COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
ALSO: FRANKLIN COUNTY WOMAN CONVICTED OF TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE – A Knox County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud for allegedly using her TennCare benefits to pay for forged prescriptions.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that Tracie D. Gardner, 42, of Powell, was arrested by the OIG and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Governor Phil Bredesen created the Office of Inspector General, one of the first units of its kind in the nation, in 2004. Since it became operational in February 2005, 257 people have been charged with TennCare fraud
Gardner was indicted for two counts of TennCare Fraud, two counts for obtaining a legend drug by fraud, and two counts of obtaining a controlled substance. She’s accused of obtaining both Clonazepam (kloe-NAY-ze-pam) - which is used to treat anxiety, panic, and seizure disorders - and Effexor (ef-ECKS-or), an anti-depressant, by fraud or forgery and paying for the medication with her TennCare medical benefits.
“We hope those who are or may think about abusing their TennCare benefits are getting the message that we are aggressively pursuing TennCare fraud and making arrests statewide,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Health care providers and law enforcement agencies are all working together in the war against TennCare fraud.
TennCare fraud and forgery are Class E felonies carrying sentences of up to two years in prison. Obtaining controlled substances by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Randall E. Nichols is prosecuting.
In an unrelated case, a Franklin County woman has pleaded guilty to two counts of TennCare fraud. Carolyn Maiava, 61 of Cowan, was indicted in March on eight counts of TennCare fraud. She was accused of obtaining another person’s TennCare medical assistance by means of a willfully false statement or impersonation. Maiava received eighteen months on each count for an effective sentence of three years suspended to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, a $250 fine for each count and she surrendered her TennCare benefits.Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”